Thursday, March 3, 2011

Old Navy Just Isn't Very Migraine Friendly

This story really starts after I'd left my local Old Navy storefront in a migraine haze, from the music being pumped in so loud that my industrial earplugs were no match and my head exploded all over the creepy torso mannequins and plastic flip-flops. But, I had gift cards! That needed to be spent! So, I went to the website, signed up for email deals and lo! very shortly thereafter, I got a kickass discount offer that made the dollar minimum for free shipping a lot more reasonable. I spent some time filling up my virtual cart, placed my order, got it a week or two later and then some events transpired that prompted me to write them a letter. Here it is:

Dear Old Navy People,

I recently placed an order online, and it went mostly very well. The transaction was smooth, the items arrived in a timely manner, they were all as described, and the fits were all perfect with plenty of help from reviewer comments. I would be confident in ordering from you again, except for the stink.

I ordered a few items, and they were all wrapped individually in plastic blags. As I started opening the packages, it occurred to me how wasteful all this plastic is. Why does each item need to be individually wrapped? Then, I opened the Floral-Print Chiffon Top and was smacked in the face with cologne.

I have chronic migraines. I'd planned on washing each of the items as soon as I received them anyway, since the normal "new clothes smell" tends to trigger head pain. But this cologne won't wash out. I've used two types of detergent and two vinegar rinses. I've soaked and pleaded. The smell is somewhat faded, but still noxious to me. If this last vinegar soak doesn't help, I just don't know what to do. I've been sick since I got the order, the constant exposure to perfumes is wreaking havoc on me.

So, I have two questions.

1. I have obviously washed the shirt repeatedly. If I am unable to get the stink out, can I still return it?

2. Either the shirt was stinky because someone tried it on or the person who packaged it was saturated. Can we avoid this in the future? This makes me nervous to order again.

Thank you for your time,


They called me a few days later. My boyfriend talked to them, since I don't do phones, and told the rep that I did finally manage to get the stink out of the shirt. My boyfriend also took the opportunity to tell them about the in-store problems I'd had. The rep said that he would make a note of it, or file the complaint or whatever lingo their corporate training suggests. It was a nice gesture, the phone call, and it leaves me hopeful as to what they would have suggested had the stink not come out.

So, Old Navy, I'm not thrilled with the quality of many of your clothes, your history of questionable labor practices, your marketing campaigns or the volume of the music in your stores, but your response to a customer with a complaint wasn't terrible. Way to go!


Jessica said...

If you think Old Navy is bad....STAY AWAY from Walmart! Now...I usually tend to avoid that store at all costs...but yesterday thought I'd run in for a quick second to grab a couple things. dull underlying headache flared to a whopping, blinding migraine before I even left the over-crowded, load, bright, stinky store!

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

I think this is a new marketing strategy - make it so bright or stinky or noisy you won't notice that they raised all the prices again!

Migrainista said...

It seems like these days it's difficult to go just about anywhere without sensory overload.

steph said...

I agree with all of these comments, totally.

Sue said...

I can SO identify with this. The place where I buy my favourite bras always tries to put SCENTED beads into the bag before I leave the store. I practically have to leap over the counter and grab the clerk's hand to stop her. ~sigh~